Saturday, June 29, 2013

Organizing Tips for Back To School and Freebies {Optimum Organization}

I'm linking up for the amazing Optimum Organization linky hosted by Fun in Room 4B and Ladybug's Teacher Files

I know some of you just got out of school and others, like me, are looking at going back around the end of July or beginning of August. I've already been thinking about those first few crazy days back at school and working on a plan to make them run smoothly! So today I thought I'd share with you a few little tips on how I stay organized during the rush of getting everyone settled in to a new year. 

First of all I have a Back to School Binder. I created this free binder cover for you if you'd like to create one of your own - just click the picture to download it.
Inside the binder I put a master copy of all the forms, letters, and information I give students at the beginning of the year. I like to keep digital copies of these as well, but when I go into my classroom at the end of summer I like knowing that I have hard copies of everything I'll need for the first few days already at my fingertips. 

I also like to keep a copy of any worksheets I give students to do as morning work, information/survey sheets I have them complete, as well as directions and printables for the activities we do on the first few days of school. 

This next tip has saved me so much time and headache at the beginning of the year!! Inside this binder I also have a stack of file folders, maybe 8 or so. Each file folder is labeled with a form that our district requires parents/students to fill out at the beginning of the year. 

When I get my class list I type my students' names into a numbered list and paper clip that list to the front of the folder. I even made a list you can edit in Word and use in your classroom, just click on the picture to download the file. (Okay, it looks all wonky in Google Docs, but when I download it the columns are even. Will you let me know if you try downloading the file and have trouble with it?)

I try to have these folders set up before our Open House because I do have parents who like to fill out paper work that night. Anytime a parent or students brings in paperwork all I have to do is put it in the corresponding folder and mark the student's name off the list. 

I also use that paper clip in the front of the folder to hold any extras I may have of that particular form. This way if I glance over my list and see that a certain child is missing a form I have it right there and can send it home with no searching effort at all. 

This system is super handy during the crazy first few days of school when we are all bombarded with so much paper work! Even if I leave the paperwork sorting for an aid or volunteer we all know exactly who still needs to turn in forms. 

How do you organize for the beginning of the new school year? 

Don't forget to join in the fun of my Bloglovin' giveaway. You could win a $10 TPT gift certificate! Click here to enter! 


  1. Binders truly are a teacher's best friend, huh? I also have the file folders for the forms, but the folders usually end up on the corner of my desk where I worry they will fall. I'll have to make a special binder for these. Smart! Thanks for linking up with us :)
    Fun in Room 4B

  2. I love your idea about keeping the school forms in their own folder & crossing off names as they come back. I'll have to remember that. Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. I love the idea of the beginning of the year binder. I think that mine will also contain my to-do lists from year-to-year, seating chart templates, and any other random things that I need at the beginning of the year. Maybe instructions on how to change my phone message? Hmm...

    Fifth in the Middle


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